Experiments: Vampire Language P3


Esperanto Setup and Day One

I’m a firm believer of at least having a guideline of expected accomplishments, goals, or whatever have you written down and marked up for learning. Timeboxing in itself is great, but if you have no idea what you’re going to do in that time frame, then it doesn’t really help.

My first days were spent actually as a ‘pre’ days. I decided to give myself about 2 days of gathering materials, researching about the language, and understanding the FI3M concept. So while reading the materials for FI3M and sites like Lernu.com, I decided that I would approach Esperanto in a totally new and different manner than that of Japanese.

For all these truths about Japanese, I did opposite for Esperanto:

-No speaking until tons of hours of Japanese listening

-No goals to talk to Natives, ever

-Shying from talking to Natives

-No grammar learning

-long Eng-J period before more J-J

-vocab from whatever I want

So as you can imagine, Esperanto had:

-Speak it from Day one!

-Talk to others in Esperanto immediately

-Goals for talking to people live on skype within a week

-Grammar overview

-Esperanto to Esperanto sooner

– All “active study” only

-frequency vocab list

Both shared however, immersion, sentence/phrases approach, and immediately understanding the script involved. Both I used Anki, and both I had to struggle with the ‘you can’t learn this’ negative thought intruding my brain.

You would think with a simple idea of what you’re doing, understanding the general gist of things, that you wouldn’t fall into problems right?

oh how wrong I am.

I started day one, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was excited and antsy to get started on actual core active studying. It started off fine, but by the third time boxing session I noticed several things happening.

I began to feel overwhelmed. I felt like I was standing at a bottom of a mountain. As a Japanese learner, well I don’t recall ever having experienced it, or well really I probably forgot how that first language tackling feeling felt like. Esperanto felt strange and alien, of course, I hadn’t heard of it before really nor listened to it before and my brain kept trying to think in English.

People talk about how hard Asian languages are to European but I just can’t agree. Reassigning sounds to characters you’ve been using sounds for all your life isn’t as easy as it appears where as Asian characters are all their own, no fighting over sounds characters (save maybe a few between Chinese to Japanese, but not really)

But really easily enough, learning the sounds for Esperanto is easy and after practicing to speak from day one mentality, I was speaking at a relatively conformable pace.

And then I got overwhelmed again. I felt overwhelmed about 4 times in the course of the first 3 hours. I had to stop, take deep breaths and work on my brainy brain. I think people who’ve been in a language long enough get comfortable about the language they’re in, and forget that crippling feeling.

I also I realized I had approached Esperanto with the old thought of reading and writing and not listening and speaking. The words I chose to study at first, I noticed were not really speaking friendly. I was trying to go the wrong route on day one! Habits die hard. I worked on a few things and was able to adjust somewhat accordingly without too much of a setback.

I began to realize that I am having stage fright in Japanese because all my efforts of learning Japanese has been from reading context. My words are words found in reading, phrases found in reading, and so forth. I realized I had not learned hardly any conversational connectors in Japanese. I hadn’t learned any sort of “way of speaking”. I had completely ignored it! No wonder I couldn’t speak, shied from it, and shunned it when I flopped on my face the few times trying it. I had cut my own feet out from under me by neglecting this.

Now if your goal was to never speak to natives, like many Japanese who can read English well, then that’s fine. But for me, I want to speak to Japanese people in Japanese, and converse freely, but I had taken a purely read mentality of Japanese the whole way through. No wonder I often felt like I was never going to ‘get there’.

I also noticed that a lot of my Japanese studying was very passive studying and not active studying. What I mean is I spent more time watching shows and being immersed, but not actually attempting to study what I was listening to or what not. Where as with Esperanto, it was all study study mode. It was far more exhausting and made me realize that I needed to better use my time on Japanese too. I was being a slow poke in Japanese! Now, I know that study hard core cannot be the only means, as our brains are not non stop powerhouses, but I feel I was coddling it far to much.

So day one of Esperanto ended up in my complete mental exhaustion and epiphany about why I was failing at certain aspect of Japanese. I spoke greetings to several people in my house and on skype/fb. It was fun and didn’t hurt my feelings at all that I cheated a bunch with my self made phrase book.

Stay tuned for some more 🙂

One Response to “Experiments: Vampire Language P3”
  1. Delenir says:

    It may show us how far we have to go with Japanese, but it certainly shows us how far we’ve come.

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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    April 2011 Contest:
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    End Tally: 154.5
    January 2011 Contest:
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    End Tally: 24
    August 2010 Contest:
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    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

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    Total: 906.26
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    March 2-Week:
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    Goal: 250
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